Guidelines For a Via de Cristo Sponsor
Sponsoring a candidate to Via de Cristo has many responsibilities. You should choose candidates very carefully. Talk to the Lord about your candidate before you talk to the candidate about Via de Cristo.
Who should attend?
When you are considering a candidate for VDC, bear in mind the influence he or she will have on others, in addition to the good he or she will derive from VDC for self. Be hesitant about sponsoring someone who is not active in his or her congregation. This does not mean the person must be on church council or a Sunday school teacher, etc. But he or she should worship regularly and participate in some area of church life. Remember, VDC is not intended to replace such things as marriage counseling or Alcoholics Anonymous. Professionally trained pastors and/or counselors better serve persons with such problems.
What things do I need to do?
- Provide the candidate with a VDC brochure and answer all his or her questions honestly. We have no secrets, but we try not to divulge the three "surprises".
- Be certain that the application is complete and turned in before the deadline. In the event of a married couple where only one partner chooses to attend, be sure that this situation will not create a problem in their marriage. (Some movements will not allow only one partner to attend.)
- Be certain that the candidate understands the cost of the weekend and that the application fee accompanies the application. While we turn no one away who is unable to pay, the movement must maintain fiscal responsibility in order to survive. Full payment will be expected at time of registration (arrival). If a candidate has been granted a “scholarship”, this information should be given to the Rector(a) in advance of the weekend.
- It is your responsibility to get the pastor's signature on the application. This way, you can answer any questions the pastor may have regarding the movement.
- Obtain palanca letters from candidate's (pilgrim’s) spouse, family members, and/or special friends. Turn them in at the beginning of the weekend.
- Write a palanca letter to your candidate.
- Check with your candidates often to see if they still plan to attend. If there are any changes, inform the Rector(a) immediately. Check with your candidate to see if they have any unanswered questions.
- Take your candidates to the reception on time (allow time for registration and for your candidate to “settle in”) and stay with them until all pilgrims have arrived and a signal given to gather at the door to sing “De Colores.” Attend the Clausura and provide transportation home for your candidate(s). Let their families know when to expect them home.
- Check on the pilgrim’s family during the weekend and be sensitive to any special needs. Tell them to call you in case of emergency so that you can contact the camp for them, if necessary.
- Introduce your candidates into a Reunion Group. Help them start one if they want to. Encourage them to change groups if uncomfortable in a group.
- Take your candidate(s) to the first ultreya after Via de Cristo.
- Pray! Pray for your candidate(s) before, during, and after the weekend.
In sponsoring candidates, you have made their spiritual welfare your responsibility. You are your brother's keeper, so do everything in your power to make your candidate's VDC experience a success. Remember, Christ is counting on YOU.
Other Things for Sponsors to Remember
Before the Weekend:
- Talk to God about your candidate before you talk to the candidate about God.
- Be actively participating in a Group Reunion and know that the mission of via de Cristo is evangelization.
- Know your candidate on a personal one-to-one basis for some time.
- Inform the candidate about the weekend: explain the Rollos, the table discussions and posters. Answer all questions.
- Tell the candidate about the evangelistic purpose of Via de Cristo and the follow-up commitments of Group reunion and Ultreya.
- If the candidate is married, inform both husband and wife about Via de Cristo. It is recommended that both marriage partners become involved if possible.
- Advise the candidate that a donation is recommended, but that scholarships are available if there is financial need.
- Have a potential group reunion in mind for the candidate.
- Have the candidate complete his/her part of the application; complete the sponsor section and mail the application to the Pre-Weekend Coordinator.
- Be in regular contact with the candidate prior to the weekend. Confirm his/her attendance once you have received the sponsor letter. Notify the Pre-Weekend Coordinator as soon as possible if the candidate decides not to attend.
- Provide Palanca letters from family and friends.
During the Weekend:
- Coordinate transportation to and from the camp and attend the Clausura.
- Assist your candidate’s family if needed.
- Be sure to provide transportation home for your candidate.
After the Weekend:
- Find your Cursillista a Group Reunion.
- Take your Cursillista to the Ultreya.
- Maintain close contact after the weekend and encourage the Cursillista to persevere in the Fourth Day.
- Remember that the thrust of the weekend is THE FOURTH DAY—not the weekend.